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Mammas: Introduction


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Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

Plus 11,000 More Guitar Lessons.

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In this tutorial we'll learn "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys" as made famous by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

We’ll learn 6 chords and a fast, swinging 3 count strum, and consider ways for our right hand to efficiently and accurately give us the right notes and strings for each chord.

This song is a very simple I-IV-V structure, which gives us a cool opportunity to consider the Nashville number system of notation, which uses numbers rather than specific chord names to identify the harmonic structure of the song. This system gives music its universal language and facilitates the savvy to play easily in multiple keys.

Another defining feature of this composition is the modulation used between the first and second half of the song. This is a pacing device commonly used to raise the energy of a song that is repeating the same chords over and over. We start in the key of D Major and modulate to the key of E Major for the second verse and chorus. We’ll define modulation and what purpose it serves in this song.

Let's get started!